Nearly every political expert is predicting that the Republican Party will retake the Senate Majority after tomorrow’s midterm elections. And before you begin to believe Democrats’ warnings that corporations will be able to enslave the 99% in giant factories, remember there are certain safeguards that can prevent the legalization of rich people stealing the souls of the poor. Here’s five reasons why the Republicans winning the majority tomorrow will not change a damn thing.
1. President Obama Can Dust Off the Veto Any Time He Wants
Although Republicans currently control the majority in the House of Representatives, Democrats have prevented hundreds of bills from becoming law by ignoring them in the Senate. But what happens when the Dems can no longer ignore them? Republicans can pass any law they want with impunity.
Well, except President Obama can veto anything he doesn’t like. And why wouldn’t he? Before the 2012 Election, Obama had used the veto less than any president since James Garfield. But without any more elections hanging over his head, he can do pretty much whatever he wants. In the past he’s threatened to veto the House’s border bill, the GOP Farm Bill and a law that would limit his executive power. (Not sure how that’s allowed, but ok.)
If the GOP controlled both the Senate and the House, they would experience far fewer obstacles to passing legislation, but they’d still run headfirst into the Commander-in-Chief’s veto stamp. Someone teach Democratss a little about checks and balances before they start freaking out!
2. Democrats Can Still Filibuster Until the Cows Come Home
Republicans made filibustering all the rage the past six years with a number of prominent conservatives pontificating at length about nothing in particular. From Rand Paul’s strange fascination with Alice in Wonderland to Ted Cruz’s bizarre history with Green Eggs and Ham, GOPers have not turned down an opportunity to preach at great lengths. But what happens when the right-wing blowhards are in the majority? Well, then the left-wing blowhards get to babble on for hours to prevent bills from being passed.
So start placing bets on what Democratic Senator will make the first crazy children’s literature in the middle of a 15-hour speech. My money’s on Al Franken quoting Harold and the Purple Crayon while defending the regulation of mortgage lenders.
3. Everything Important Comes from Court Decisions Anyway
There’s a strong argument to be made that the Supreme Court created the two most impactful political moments since Obama took office.
First, in 2010 the Court decided that the government can’t restrict political spending made by non-profit corporations in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission. This opened the doors for Super PACs spending unlimited sums of money on elections with virtually no supervision. Then in 2012 the Supreme Court defended the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare, which basically meant they allowed the greatest upheaval in the healthcare industry ever.
That’s right, a group of nine unelected judges picked apart a bunch of laws passed by elected representatives of Congress to create the world we live in. Seriously, are we sure America’s a democracy?
More recently state and federal courts have made a number of decisions on same-sex marriage that accelerated the gay rights movement in a way the legislative and executive branches of government never could. Right now Congress can barely keep the government running while the Courts are starting mini-cultural revolutions.
So, tell me again why it matters what party passes the bill that gives Charles Barkley his own stamp?
4. Republicans Really Don’t Know What the Fuck They’re Going to Do
Congratulations, Republicans! You’re now the majority in the Senate. Now you can’t blame Democrats if shit doesn’t get done. Even if Obama vetoes every bill the GOP passes, voters aren’t going to like a political party basically shrugging its shoulders whenever nothing’s getting done. The House has spent the past four years voting to defund Obamacare over 50 times. If Republicans control both chambers of Congress, they’ll have to stop the symbolic gestures and start actually running the country.
One problem: the Republican Party is completely divided. In June, former House majority leader Eric Cantor admitted the GOP’s divided between moderates and the Tea Party. And while the two factions united to overthrow the Democrats, there’s no guarantee they’ll work together to govern the country, as shown in the below clip from The Daily Show. Cantor’s loss in the June primary already shows the Tea Party’s unwilling to yield any ground on the immigration debate and don’t want their representatives to work towards bipartisan deals. So, they don’t want Republicans do to any of the things they accused Democrats of doing when they controlled the majority. Yeah, this is going to work out.
5. Everyone’s Looking Towards 2016 Anyways
Here’s the thing about midterm elections: no one really cares about them. Control of the legislature is not nearly as sexy as the drama that accompanies a Presidential Election. First there’s the primaries with all the whackos who somehow believe they deserve to be president. Then the candidates are finally chosen and the real race begins. It’s the best drama this side of TNT.
The 2016 Election looks like it could be a real humdinger. Hillary Clinton looks poised to make a run at becoming the first female president. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz love talking and will probably fight each other to the death in a mud pit in Iowa. Joe Biden will most likely say something hilarious. And that doesn’t even count all the weirdos who emerge from the Republican 1954 Time Machine to run for President.
The media cycle will be consumed with the 2016 election as soon as the midterms are over. So nothing Congress does between now and then will bear any importance. Barring another government shutdown or an Obama impeachment, it’s hard to believe a Republican-controlled Senate will generate a headline better than, “Vice-President Biden Inadvertently Insults All Women in Debate With Hillary.”
Joseph Misulonas is an intern for Playboy.com. When not advocating for communal living, he can be found on Twitter at @jmisulonas.